For many years, Geoffrey Levy has made his living with his South Sea pearl business. His business has taken him all around the world as he sold the high-quality Australian, Tahitian and Indonesian pearls to jewelers, wholesalers and manufacturers.

Now a metro Atlanta resident, Levy was born in Zimbabwe (Rhodesia at the time) and came to the United States in 1977. “Like most citizens of Rhodesia, I was drafted into service during the Bush War,” he said. The Rhodesian Bush War, 1964-1979, was a civil conflict that resulted in the independence of Zimbabwe. For three years, Levy was a pilot in the Police Air Wing (PRAW), flying reconnaissance, before he made his way to the U.S.

Geoffrey Levy owns Apothecary ATL in Sandy Springs

Levy still has strong ties to his African homeland. One of the ways he stays connected is through his support of 14 boys (now young men) in Zambia who were orphaned by the AIDS epidemic there.

He also has a long history with soccer, and he became a FIFA/USS-licensed soccer intermediary. “I was administrator of Zambian women’s soccer for five or six years,” he said. “I took it on because I didn’t like how the girls were being treated. They were paid so little, while the men’s team was getting a lot of money. I thought it was important for them to get an education and improve their lives.”

His faith and efforts paid off. The under-17 women’s team qualified in 2014 for the World Cup. “I took them to California, where they trained for two weeks,” Levy said. “Then we went on to Costa Rica for the World Cup.” Most of the players from that team are part of the team that qualified for the 2020 Olympics, and others are now playing on European soccer teams, he reported.

About a year ago, Levy decided to open a marketplace for CBD products – Apothecary ATL in Sandy Springs. He explained that, personally, he had a good experience with CBD when he broke a toe and was getting no help from doctors. “Nothing helped,” he said. “Then several people told me to try CBD, and when I did, it gave me relief.”

More and more CBD stores began popping up in the area, and Levy noticed something that piqued his entrepreneurial interest. “I saw that most of them were franchises with just 10 to 12 products,” he said. “I decided to open one that’s more like a supermarket. I have over 250 products.”

Even after the store was up and running, Levy didn’t stop there. Now he manufactures 32 of his own products. “I’m wholesaling and selling them to other stores,” he said. “I’ve had a fantastic response; it’s great.”

Kathy Dean

Kathy Dean is a freelance writer and editor based in metro Atlanta.